Due to the current economic situation, we are currently seeing a huge increase in online shopping. People are still prioritising their safety and shopping from home, rather than venturing into the highstreet shops. In this blog post, we’re looking at alternative payment methods you can offer to your online customers.

With more people shopping online, the diversity of shoppers is also increasing. Online shoppers have personal preferences that are widely varied. If you are aiming to attract more of these customers, you should be aware of their preferred payment methods and the alternative options available.

Preferences are formed around different payment methods due to security concerns, practicalities, or merely for convenience.

In this blog, we will look at the most popular alternative payment methods which may be beneficial to add as a payment method on your ecommerce site. Some are found within native Magento, whilst others would require plugins to facilitate.

Alternative Payment Methods

1. Paypal

paypal logo

With over 295 million users around the world, Paypal is one of the most popular alternative payment methods.

Existing users can pay for purchases by using the cash balance directly from their Paypal account. This can be added to and topped up by depositing money from another personal bank account. Paypal accounts can also receive payments, so this can also be topped up by either transfers from family and friends, or from making sales on platforms such as eBay; who prefer to use this method of payment. 

If the customer’s cash balance doesn’t cover the cost of a purchase, Paypal will automatically add the difference from a funding source attached to their account.

Therefore, Paypal is an increasingly popular payment method for a number of reasons:

  • It speeds up the checkout process, customers just enter their paypal login details, rather than all of their card details.
  • It provides a sense of security, especially on sites where the customer hasn’t shopped before as they are not entering any card information.
  • Customers can check out immediately, rather than having to transfer money between accounts if there is not enough money in their account to make a payment.

2. Amazon Pay

amazon pay logo

Amazon is a well-known and trusted source of online shopping. Many online shoppers have shopped on Amazon, so have an Amazon account readily available to them. 

By offering Amazon pay as a payment method, customers will be able to pay with the methods that they already have saved on their Amazon account.

Not only can you extend the trustworthiness of Amazon to your own site by offering Amazon Pay, there are also other benefits to this payment method:

  • It also speeds up the checkout process and eliminates the need for customers to enter their card details.
  • It is trusted and is known for its high level of security.
  • Amazon Pay can be used as a tool for building a mobile-friendly site because millions of people already own an Amazon account.

3. Apple Pay

apple pay logo

In a recent study by Retail Research it was discovered that 43% of internet retailing was carried out on smartphones and tablets. 

With the rate of online shopping increasing and contactless payments being preferred in shops, ApplePay is also another growing alternative payment method for iOS devices.

For many reasons, Apple Pay is becoming a more popular payment method:

  • Customer’s payment information is stored in the Cloud, so the risk of security breaches are minimised. If Apple devices are lost or stolen, the risk of their information being compromised is lowered.
  • The online store does not need to store personal data because transactions are made through tokenization. Therefore, your risk as an ecommerce stores reduces.

It provides simplicity and quickness for transactions, as customers can pay using either the touch of their finger or facial recognition; no data entry is needed to make a payment.

4. ACH (Automated Clearing House)

Although credit and debit cards are prevalent in today’s economy, some customers have situations whereby paying by cheque is still required.

ACH gives customers the options to pay by electronic cheque; which despite being slower than a debit or credit card to process, can normally be processed quicker than a paper cheque. 

It can be beneficial to offer this option to customers online as an alternative for various reasons:

  • The ACH network is reliable and has high security standards.
  • The transaction fees for using ACH are normally lower than other payment methods.

5. Bitcoin

bitcoin logo

Probably the most alternative payment method in our list, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. It is an online currency which is self-regulated, therefore it is a ‘new kind of money’.

Despite gaining popularity, some retailers do still find this concept confusing. Mainly because it is completely anonymous.

Mostly used amongst technology companies, there are benefits that could be seen for other ecommerce companies too:

  • Personal information being compromised is extremely low due to the anonymity of the currency.
  • The value of Bitcoin does fluctuate, so as a result more people to use it.
  • International transactions are rising as Bitcoin is available in some countries where other payment methods are hard to come by. It is also not tied to a government. Therefore the value is the same all over the world and it is not affected by exchange rates. As a result, this could benefit a business which operates on a global scale.

 

There are lots of options for alternative payment methods that are available to you. It’s important to think about your customers and what would benefit them, as well as how it could positively impact your business. Which payment methods do you currently use on your ecommerce store?

The payment methods you choose to use can make a huge difference to both the user experience and your conversion rate. By offering a selection of options that are quick and easy to use, you will be able to providing a more streamlined and efficient checkout process.

You should also consider the risk factors with any alternative payment methods that you use and how you can keep your website secure.

If you think any of these options would benefit your business, get in touch and we can discuss your options.